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Hummingbird Gardens

hummingbird.jpgFound only in the Americas, the hummingbird family includes 383 species, but only 16 live in North America. Hummingbirds like bright-colored flowers with lots of nectar, often they are red. Hummingbirds must feed 3 to 5 times per hour and may become reliant on your garden for food, but there may be periods when there are no blossoms from which they can get nectar. Even with a garden of plants, it is a good idea to provide hummingbird feeders.

Never fill your feeders with anything but sugar-water mix of 1 part white sugar to 4 parts water. Do not use food coloring of any kind, and never use molasses, honey, sugar substitutes, powdered, brown sugar or nutrient mixtures (these can develop a fungus which can be fatal to hummingbirds). Wash the feeder each time you refill it. Scrub feeders occasionally with a brush, after a soaking in a mild bleach-water mixture (1 part bleach to 9 parts water), which kills any bacteria in the feeder.

Hummingbirds are very territorial and will defend flowers and feeders from other hummers. If possible, space food sources out of sight from one another, or as far apart as possible, up to 30 feet.

While hummingbirds need nectar, insects, such as aphids, represent the majority of their diet. According to recent research, hummingbirds may have very small brains but excellent memory when it involves food. Scientists in Britain and Canada, have studied the Rufous hummingbird that lives in the Canadian Rockies. The Rufous hummingbird can remember the location of specific flowers and the last time they visited them.

In the birds'€™ feeding grounds, scientists kept track of how frequently the hummingbirds visited eight artificial flowers filled with a sucrose solution. Once the flowers were empty the scientists refilled half after 10 minutes and other half after 20 minutes.

Scientists discovered that the birds returned to the flowers according to the refill schedule. The flowers refilled every ten minutes were visited by the hummingbirds sooner than those refilled every 20 minutes. They believe that the hummingbird'€™s brain has become extremely developed because they travel long distances and do no€™t have time and energy to waste looking for food.

Hummingbirds may visit these blooming plants:

  • Campanula glomerata 'Angel Bells'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Campanula g. 'Angel Bells' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Campanula g. 'Angel Bells' PPAF (30)ct Flat Common Name: Clustered BellflowerLooking for a no-fuss perennial? Try 'Church Bells', a new clustered bellflower that's especially refined in terms of performance and flower quality. Well-formed clusters of...

    $191.32
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  • Campanula c. 'Violet Teacups'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Campanula c. 'Violet Teacups' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Campanula c. 'Violet Teacups' PPAF (30)ct Flat Teacup Collection Common Name: Carpathian Bellflower, Carpathian HarebellCarpathian Bellflowers are popular for a reason-they nicely fill the front of the border without spreading, and their bold colors...

    $165.40
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  • Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Campanula c. 'Delft Teacups' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Campanula c. 'Delft Teacups' PPAF (30)ct Flat Height: 6.0-8.0 InchesSpread: 10.0-12.0 InchesHardiness Zones: 3,4,5,6,7,8Flower Color: Blue shadesFoliage Color: Green shadesSunlight: Full Sun to Part Shade Average Water NeedsAverage to Fertile Soil...

    $165.40
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  • Campanula carpatica 'Rapido White'
Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company
This easy care perennial is a great choice for
edging, containers, or the front of the border.

appear atop the clump of dark green foliage.

EXPOSURE: Full Sun to Part Shade
BLOOMS: Late Spring to Late Summer
HEIGHT: 5-7 in
SPACE: 5-8 in
ZONE: 3-9

    Campanula c. 'Rapido White' (30)ct Flat

    Campanula c. 'Rapido White' (30)ct Flat Bellflower-Carpathian Height: 5-7 Inches, Spread: 5-8 InchesFlower Color: White Shades, Foliage Color: Green shadesFull sun to Part shade Blooms Late spring - Late summer One of the earliest blooming Campanula...

    $139.96
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  • Campanula carpatica 'Rapido Blue'
Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

    Campanula c. 'Rapido Blue' (30)ct Flat

    Campanula c. 'Rapido Blue' (30)ct Flat Bellflower-Carpathian Height: 5-7 Inches, Spread: 5-8 InchesFlower Color: Blue Shades, Foliage Color: Green shadesFull sun to Part shade Blooms Late spring - Late summer One of the earliest blooming Campanula...

    $139.96
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  • Campanula 'Dickson's Gold'

    Campanula 'Dickson's Gold' (30)ct Flat

    Campanula 'Dickson's Gold' Common Name: Bellflower, Harebell. Zones 3 to 8. Full Sun to Part Shade. Plants reach 4 to 6 inches tall and 8 to 10 inches wide; Low-growing clumps of basal foliage spread to form an attractive ground cover. Growth rate:...

    $158.20
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